Saturday I ran my 3rd half marathon of the year, and if I were to pick a favorite race out of all the races that I’ve run to date, it would be this one. I absolutely loved the REVEL Big Cottonwood Half.
My sister ran the full and ROCKED it. Here we are, parking lot selfie – up way too early (I think we took this at 4:30am) and ready to join the crazy crowds on the buses!
Then off we went – up the canyon. Funny story – so I was on the first half marathon bus. It always seems like so far when you are the bus and then you think about how crazy you are for running that entire way back! But we just kept driving up and up and up. And then we even drove right past the Half Marathon starting line….and kept going and going! Finally someone said “Are you going to turn around somewhere?!” I think our poor bus driver was just following a group of buses headed for the top with full marathon runners. So then he stopped…and reversed down the canyon! In the dark! Oh my gosh! So funny! I was texting my sister and she said her bus had just passed us backing down! haha. Finally he stopped, kinda close…but we still had to walk a little bit of a ways down to the starting line holding area. It was an adventure! haha!
It was so freezing! We got hats, gloves and emergency blankets in our race swag bag and we needed them! Thankfully the night before I had remembered to load a book on my phone, so I found a spot in the sea of emergency blankets, made myself a little blanket tee-pee and tried to stay warm while reading a book. I am such a nut…who reads a book before a race?!?!
And finally – at 6:45 it was time to line up and start!
I put my ear bud in and ran. The first mile was so crowded – it always is. I but I just ran and ran. Saturday was proof that running is SO much of a mental sport. Back up: I didn’t train as well as I could have for this race so the week before the race I decided I was just going to run and not care. And walk if I needed too and not care. I’ve always tried to stay within a safe “pace”… something that I know I can run for that distance and not tire myself out. But Saturday I decided to screw it. I was going to run as fast as I could and not worry! I could always walk at the end if I had too.
(Does anyone else feel like race pictures are like a lottery – you never know what you are going to get?)
This course is SO amazing. All downhill. Amazing views. I kept glancing at my watch and thinking “I cannot seriously be running that pace!” When I first noticed my pace I kinda freaked and thought – “Oh my gosh! I should totally slow down!” But then I reminded myself it’s ok. Let it go. I was feeling great and so why not see what could happen.
Sometimes I think this is what goes on in my daily life. I hold back. I tell myself – stay safe.
Stay in a pace that feels comfortable. Don’t stand out. I worry too much about what people will think.
Don’t let go.
But in reality, when we let ourselves forget that – and really let go, we can see that we can feel GREAT at a faster pace. We can step out of our comfort zone and do something that we might normally might not do. And in the end we can look back and see it was a good thing! I can always do the same thing with my life.
But nothing will change if nothing changes. It’s my new mantra. I could have stayed with my safe pace. But I would have finished with the same exact time I always get. And wondered, what if…. When we let go of thinking we cannot do things outside our comfort zone we grow.
Finally it was down to 3 miles. A 5k! I can run a 5K! – and I was looking at my watch and I knew it would be close. I could actually come in under 2 hours. I have NEVER been able to come close to this goal. But with 3 miles to go I decided it was worth it. And I ran…..I think Justin Timberlake came on my playlist too at this point…so you know, I’ve got this feeling…..
And with 4 seconds to spare I did it! I finished the race under 2 hours. And I felt amazing and SO happy! I have never finished a race that fast, or feeling that good. It was truly a runners high!
I texted my husband this picture and his direct quote was “you don’t even look tired!” NOPE! Not tired at all!
I LOVED this race. If I ever got up the nerve to do a full – this would be the one I would pick. My sister rocked the full by the way! She came across with an amazing time despite some leg cramps the last mile! she is my hero and I am so proud of her!
Who wants to run it with me next year? I feel like I finally figured it out – let it go! Nothing changes if nothing changes!
Let’s do it!